Scams can often seem like the stuff of urban legends — an odd, urgent phone call, a smooth-talking person on the other end who weaves a tale of money won in a sweepstakes, or funds needed to help a loved one, that seems too detailed to be a lie — but unfortunately for many seniors who have lost thousands of dollars to unscrupulous strangers, scams that take advantage of the elderly are all too common.
Two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission shut down a Brooklyn-based telemarketing scheme that bullied elderly consumers into paying for a medical alert service they never ordered or wanted. Now a federal court has hit the telemarketer’s repeat-offender operator with a $3.4 million penalty. [More]
Vultures. A mother and a daughter were arrested for skimming through the local obituary pages and calling up the spouses pretending to be from the bank or credit card company. They would say that the recently departed owed the company money, and the survivor needed to provide a blank check or a credit card.
What should you do when you witness someone abusing someone else, but you’re in a retail establishment and the management won’t help you? While eating at an Eat’n Park last week, Myriad claims she watched a young woman repeatedly kick the elderly lady sitting with her, and when Myriad tried to intervene the girl threatened to punch Myriad in the face. Myriad says the manager refused to cooperate, only repeating that he knew the girl and that she was “very nice.”
Shaun says his 80+-year old grandfather, Steve, is being scammed out of over $10,000 a month. It seems Steve recently hired a female gardener who introduced him to a “wealthy friend,” and now he’s loaning them money to pay for groceries, cable, home upkeep, and, get this, bodyguards to protect her from an ex-husband and son who to want to kill her. When the family tries to intervene, Steve says the family is trying to put him in a nursing home and steal his money. Shaun is at a loss. How can he help his grandfather, who doesn’t want to be helped? Shaun’s story, inside…
Dateline did a hidden camera investigation into the world of shady annuity salesmen targeting seniors and playing on their emotions to lock their life savings away in funds they may never live to receive the benefit from, or pay stiff penalties, not disclosed in the sales pitch, for early withdrawal. In this clip, Dateline producers attended “Annuity University,” a two-day session run by Tyrone Clark to teach them how to sell to elders. He settled with the state of Massachusetts after he published a sales pamphlet that told salespeople to treat seniors “like they were selling to a twelve year old” and to hit their “fear, anger, and greed buttons” to make the sale. He also sells questionable self-promotional tools and services. In one of them, a fake radio guy will call up the salesperson and interview them like they’re a financial expert on the radio. The session is recorded and the salesman gets CDs to pass out, so they can pass themselves off as legitimate financial advisers. Video, inside…
A volunteer in Chicago claims that her client, a 65-year-old woman with dementia, was given a GMAC auto loan for a new 2007 Pontiac, even though she only makes $900 a month and has no driver’s license. Now the car has been repossessed and the car lot is saying she owes them nearly $8,000.
A Centura bank manager was arresetd on suspicion of defrauding an 86-year old man out of $82,000 from his bank account. Milton Hagelberger helped the old man set up his checkbook, then set up a second account under the old man’s name and made himself an ATM card. The manager had the account statements mailed to an empty lot across the street from the bank so the man wouldn’t see the missing money. The victim only found out about the fraud after he tried to cash a check and found he had insufficient funds. We’re often worried about outside identity thieves stealing our moneys over the internet, but sometimes identity theft happens in the flesh, right in front of our face.
infoUSA Calls "Unfair" NYT Article About How It Marketed Lists Of "Gullible" Seniors To Known Scammers,
Instead of atoning for their sins and begging for forgiveness, infoUSA, the firm that knowingly marketed lists of “gullible” seniors to known scammers, opted for a path of childish and defensive rebuttals:
infoUSA Marketed Lists Of "Gullible" Seniors To Known Scammers, Wachvoia Processed The Unsigned Checks
Global rings of crooks are stealing the bank accounts of thousands of the elderly, using lists of names and phone numbers sold to them by corporate America, NYT reports.
Ariel’s wealthy aunt died. When his mom went to open her safe deposit box, which was supposed to hold $300k in bonds and jewels, it was empty. The bank clerk said that it had been emptied that morning, by the aunt…